"David Sloan was responsible for her death...he will be punished...the THAI WAY!"
Kickboxer 4 brings Sasha Mitchell back as David Sloan, the teacher, fighter, brother of original Kickboxer guy JCVD and all around fella that will kick you in the neck if you piss him off in a martial arts tournament. But this isn't going to just be a kickfighting tournament film...oh no!
Well, it is. But there is a twist. I skipped part 3 (no Pyun?) but now Sloan is in jail after being framed by Tong Po, who is not in 3 and was a bloody mess at the end of 2 and we skip ahead a few years. David is now a changed man-and he is ready to be the titular AGGRESSOR in a quest to beat up Tong Po again. Bonus! Senorita Sloan has been in the tongs of Tong Po as a captive! Luckily a pal sets him up to bring down Tong Po via infiltrating his yearly Bloodsport Kickboxer Spectacularrrrrrr....rrrrr...rrr.
Toss in a helpful ex-student / DEA agent (what??) and some naked ladies and the fighting just tops everything off. We have the cute girl kickboxer element, the misunderstood lady / sensual slave of Tong Po and his crew element, a higher quotient of very sweaty T and A and male A to keep all things equal and enough fighting to keep me happy.
Plus, you have Tong Po hopping up and down like a baby that just discovered farting while he is watching the combatants-that is awesome!
Kickboxer 4 is not as polished up as part 2, but it varies from the other film enough to be interesting. The only drawbacks this time are in small matters. First, Sasha Mitchell was fine in part 2 as the streetwise teacher that cares for his students type, but this role as hardened by prison and fueled by vengeance leaves his acting chops vulnerable to a swift kick in the nuts. It just doesn't work, I'm glad however that he never picks up a machine gun and starts leaping around, that would have been way to much. So, with that problem firmly in place we go to the biggest issue.
FAUX PO! Michel Qissi brought a very unique look and feel to his barely used but fondly remembered by fight film fans character. Without him, we get a dude in make-up that looks sort of like Tong Po and is fine at acting menacing and taking punches without flinching. But...I know Tong Po. And this is no Po. NO PO!
I actually said that out loud during the film. Sad. Honestly, Kamel Krifa ain't bad...but...NO PO! Luckily, Nicholas Guest rocks out on his part and lifts the baddies up. Also, I liked Michelle Krasnoo a lot. She had some great moves and can do a mean "tilts head back and says "fuck you" move too.
Now, what is really important is the fighting, and that is spot on. Not only do we have the tournament scenes that feature a nice variety of fighters using stuff like Capoeira moves, but two of the Machado brothers are on hand dishing out wicked looking armbars and rolls in to chokes (which Mitchell does near the end of the film as well...), but there is a kickass barroom fight that follows my maxim of BREAK GLASS...IMPRESS VIEWER to the hilt. It breaks down in to a big melee fight and even that holds up. So, you go to a movie called KICKBOXER 4 - THE AGGRESSOR and expect REMAINS OF THE DAY, you get let down... but if you want a lot of ass kicking and tournament fighting, consider your Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii to be yelping YAAAAAAAA before it is over. Not a classic, but a few good doses of Pyunishment and Pyugilism are on show.
Tong Po slips away at the end by the way, but not for Kickboxer 5. At one point I had to laugh when I saw a fighter wearing a shirt that said DACASCOS, when Mark Dacascos would be the star of the next Kickboxer film!
Life is strange in the PYUNIVERSE.
"Kill Sloan or you all die!!"